Script for Video-Kidzeum Pioneer Days
BETH MUSELWHITE (Kidzeum Director): The Kidzeum's first exhibit this fall has been about pioneer days. The pioneer exhibit for pioneer days is a terrific way to get the children to use hands-on experience and learn about history. For the first visit the children were asked to think about what they might pack from back in the east to fill a life-sized covered wagon. The children had to think about what might be needed when they went to set up their pioneer home. The children visited the Pioneer log home and learned how to dip candles. Each child got to dip the candles with beeswax. At the second Center the children got to churn butter and so they even tasted a little bit of that butter. For the second visit the children visited the one-room schoolhouse. Each child sat on a tree-legged stool and they all got to write with soapstone on a slate board just as the pioneer children would have done long ago. For the centers, the children got to write with quill and ink on parchment paper, just as pioneer children might have done, and also got to put together quilt pieces. We used actual pioneer designs of quilt pieces and made those into puzzles for the children to put together. For pioneer days we had a pioneer week. We had a juggler who also performed string games with just a string, just as pioneer children might have done. We also had horse farriers. Those were two of our teachers here at Grenada Elementary School. They taught the children how to shoe their horses and also about all the tack that the horses might need. We also had bee keepers to come and tell the children all about the bee keeping during the pioneer days. We had a storyteller who also taught the children about pioneer games that the children might have played long ago in pioneer days. During the pioneer week we had a scientist from the Mississippi Science Museum from Jackson to come and share with the children about different tracking methods that the Pioneers would have used long ago in Mississippi and she brought different pelts of different animals that would have been found in Mississippi long ago during the pioneer days. The children loved the animals. She brought some turtles as well as a snake and a small alligator. Using their hands-on experiences like dipping candles and making the butter helps them to know how people long ago actually had to do things. They can't just go- they couldn't go to Walmart and buy the butter. They had to actually get that from the cow that they had and actually churned the butter. Knowing that they didn't have a television to watch way long ago in pioneer days, they would make up things to do such as the string games that one of our visitors came to show the children how to play string games.